The RAL Space Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is a multi-disciplinary facility for the quick and efficient conceptual design not only of complex space programmes, but also of non-space system-of-system design tasks. The CDF has been developed by RAL Space engineers and IT staff, but incorporates the experience and best practice of other CDFs located overseas such as those at ESTEC, JPL, ASI, CNES, JAXA and DLR.
The key benefits of utilising the RAL Space CDF for Mission Studies are:
- Study Quality: The rigorous and systematic approach to the design process helps ensure that the results are of a consistently high standard.
- Efficiency: ESA and other CDF operators report a reduction in assessment study costs by a factor of two and elapsed time by a factor of four.
- Fostering Collaboration: Teams of Scientists and Engineers from different organisations and countries are able to start work together on real projects quickly, build collaborations and profit from each other's strengths.
- Stimulation of new scientific and business initiatives: New ideas and concepts can be refined, elaborated and assessed from scientific, technical and business points-of-view and take them to the next level of maturity.
There are similar benefits for other system-of-system design problems such as town planning or hospital refurbishment.
The RAL Space CDF comprises three elements:
- The facility infrastructure
- The CDF design database
- The methodology
These three elements of the CDF enable novel space concepts and other system-of-system challenges to be quickly and efficiently assessed from technical, financial and programmatic points-of-view.
The infrastructure includes the room itself, the IT and communications hardware and the specialist space mission design software which enables engineers to design individual elements of a complex mission.
CDF Design Database
The design database includes the software which automatically links the design of the individual elements of a mission or other system into a coherent system.
The methodology is the process for efficiently co-ordinating the design activities of engineers, scientists and programme managers in a concurrent design environment.The methodology is the process for efficiently co-ordinating the design activities of engineers, scientists and programme managers in a concurrent design environment.